Overwintering Plants In-Doors
Wow, we had our first frost of the season the first week of November! That is early for us here in North East Mississippi in zone 7B! Frosty nights also mean that my house is now full of plants I had to bring in for the winter. Every year my collection grows, and I have to be more creative about where to put all my plant babies. Some of those places might surprise you and could be something that you can try!
First, look throughout your home for a space where your plants will get the most natural light throughout the day. Will your plants get plenty of light? Some of your plants will need more light than others. Think about the temperature of that space. Will they stay warm enough, too cold, or even too hot? Do some of your plants need humidity? How will they get it? You would be surprised what you can find, even in areas you haven't thought about.
First: Keep in mind that they need time to adjust.
Bringing your plants from outside to inside may not seem like a big deal for us, but it can cause a shock for your plant. You took them out of one environment into something completely different. So they might start to wilt, the color of their leaves may change, or they may even lose leaves. Don't freak out and begin to overwater or do something in haste. Please read the following tips below to get them on the right start.
You need to figure out what type of light your plant needs: low light, medium light, full light. Once you find out what kind of light each plant needs, you can arrange them correctly.
The windows allow natural light to come in, so if you can find a space for your plants in front of them, that's perfect!
If you have minimal window light, you can buy grow lights. They come in all different types and sizes. You can have one hanging on a lamp cord, or you can have whole shelving units created for your collection.
My daughter uses bulbs in her room because it takes up less space and I personally feel it is safer for her to use.
I have to admit that this is where I fail. I tend to forget to water my plants during the winter. We forget that when we run the heat in our homes during the winter, it can dry out our plants, so the right about of water is essential!
If you have been a long-time reader or vlog watcher, you know I recommend using rainwater. Just because it is cold outside, you can still use rainwater. Put a bucket outside. You can just let the rainfall into it or place it under a gutter to help catch more. You don't want to pour freezing cold water onto your plants, so let it sit until room temperature.
If this is not an option, use filtered water. The filtered water will keep the chemicals out of the water and away from your plants. If it is cold from the fridge, let it sit to get at room temperature.
You brought your plants in, so they should be fine. But then some start to drop their leaves, and others look so sad! Well, it might be the temperature in the room.
It might take a while for you to discover precisely which room or temperature will be best for your plants. You might put them too close to the window, which might be too cold for them. If you place your plants too close to a vent, the warm air might dry them out.
I live in the South, where humidity is constantly in the air outside during May-Oct, where my tropical plants thrive, but inside my house is a different story. Your tropical house plants will grow larger and more vibrant if given the humidity they love. But, most people don't like their houses to feel like a humid tropical jungle, so your plants are missing that moisture they love. Luckily for them, you have three solutions!
Place them high above the stove to get the steam created when cooking. The following should be common sense, but just in case, don't place them too close to the stove where you will burn them from the heat. Also, not so close that the hot steam will burn them either. I don't have an above hood vent for my stove, so the mist rises floating across the plants I have above the kitchen cabinets. They love it!
If this is not an option for you, the bathroom might be the perfect spot! Just like in the kitchen, a warm steamy shower can give your plants that tropical humidity they love. Our bathroom happens to have a skylight tube which provides the perfect natural lighting. It also has a great top shelf, just the right size for sitting pots where they can soak up all the humidity from our daily showers. I've also seen where people have created shelving next to a bathroom window to get good lighting. People also hang their plant baskets or macrame pot holders from the shower rod. Just make sure they are strong shower rods!
If neither of the above is suitable for you, you might want to consider a humidifier. It is common for serious plant collecters to have humidifiers for their tropical plants. They come in all shapes, sizes and with all kinds of tech abilities. It's not the end of the world; if you can't provide your plants with the proper humidity, they will be okay.
I hope some of these tips will help you grow your plant collection outside or inside. Remember that it is a learning journey!